Toothless starlight, sing to me now.
Low moon, skin-swaddled and ancient, speak from the I of the atmosphere—loosely livid,
Carved smoke, red water, neck ache—
Whatever ate their hearts has spared you; start living in reverse.
You are allowed to begin somewhere.
You are allowed to change.
And why not the body? Nipple and hip crease, mountain fibroma, desmoid tumor dance and two
hands clasping, unclasping.
Water molecules under anger shape-shift, the past is like that.
A single crane rises from a watery roadside ditch like a letter.
Gnostic in the oak-light, bring me to my senses in the tired dawn.
Pack of dogs, take my palm.
Now you get to believe in God, all of the blessings so unclear.
Now starlings sing verses, cloud-light swells grape fields.
How long before you give yourself to moonlight fanatical?
How long before you recall the taste of democracy, rock-shore to sea’s rain, the people’s eternal
Yellow cedar, un-shard me.
Beautiful prayer animal, rise to the occasion of your living.
Brynn Saito is the author of two books of poetry from Red Hen Press, Power Made Us Swoon (2016) and The Palace of Contemplating Departure (2013), winner of the Benjamin Saltman Award and a finalist for the Northern California Book Award. She also co-authored, with Traci Brimhall, the chapbook Bright Power, Dark Peace (Diode Editions, 2016). Brynn is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing in the English Department at Fresno State and Co-Director, with Nikiko Masumoto, of Yonsei Memory Project.